Elementary 4/5/6 Highly Capable Program

  • The referral window is currently open for students in grades 3-5 interested in the 2024-2025 4/5/6 Highly Capable Program.  

    Beginning in the 4th grade, those students who are referred and qualify are placed in the 4/5/6 Highly Capable Program. This program is offered at each elementary school and is a multi-grade, full-time class that emphasizes abstract thinking, complexity and depth. Differentiated instruction within each classroom may include one or more of the following strategies: pre-assessment and tiered lessons, open-ended questioning strategies and higher level thinking skills. There are opportunities for students to make independent choices when appropriate in content, process and product. 

    Snohomish School District students who will be in the 4th through 6th grade next year and are interested in participating in the district’s 4/5/6 Elementary Highly Capable Program which provides learning opportunities around depth, complexity, and acceleration. If interested, the below dates and information are important. Students currently enrolled in the 4/5/6 Elementary Highly Capable Program do not need to complete the referral process.

    Questions can be directed to Linda Varner at 360-563-7296 or linda.varner@sno.wednet.edu and Belinda Kelly at 360-563-7258 or belinda.kelly@sno.wednet.edu.

    Placement procedures
    For a student to be considered for placement in the elementary 4/5/6 Highly Capable Program, the following steps are required: 

    Referral packet

    • Anyone who has knowledge of the student (referral forms available in each school, at the district office and online) can complete a referral packet.
    • Students in 3rd grade are screened using Star assessment data.
    • By office staff with knowledge of school transfer record.
    • Packets are available and accepted through Thursday, February 29, at your school building or the Resource and Service Center (1601 Avenue D in Snohomish)
    • Click the links below to download 4/5/6 highly capable referral packets. Complete the referral packet and turn it in to the office of the student’s elementary school or the district's Resource and Service Center (1601 Avenue D in Snohomish).
    • Referral form

    Testing dates
    Referred students will be assessed on the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) in their current school during regular school hours. Test dates and times will be in the early spring. Families will receive notification of testing date(s) by email from your child’s school or from the district office. All testing materials are provided. Students already identified for K-3 highly capable services do not need to complete a referral packet and will receive placement information for the 4/5/6 Highly Capable Program by May 24, 2024. 

    Multidisciplinary selection committee
    Placement is based on the student’s performance on the CogAT Abilities Test, Star reading and math achievement tests, student self inventory form/essay, and the information contained in the completed parent/guardian and teacher inventory forms. Placement decisions are made by a multidisciplinary selection committee comprised of school psychologist, a principal, a highly capable teacher and a highly capable specialist. Decisions shall be based on professional judgment as to which students will benefit the most from inclusion in the district program and also on a selection system that determines which students are the most highly capable, as defined under WAC 392-170-055, and other data collected in the assessment process.

    Notification of recommended assignment
    Once the multidisciplinary selection committee meets and makes a recommendation for placement, a letter is sent directly to parents/guardians by May 24, 2024.

    Appeal process 
    Parents/guardians of a student who does not qualify have the right to appeal the multidisciplinary selection committee's decision by submitting a letter requesting review of the selection/placement decision. The written request must include reasons for the appeal and any outside standardized assessment data that represents evidence of significantly advanced cognitive or academic levels and/or outstanding intellectual, academic or creative abilities. The appeal request and supporting evidence must be submitted to the Highly Capable Program specialist by June 20, 2024. 

    The district's Appeals Committee will review the student's assessment profile data, and additional evidence provided in the request for appeal. The appeals committee is composed of the Highly Capable Program specialist, an administrator, a highly capable program teacher (if a highly capable teacher is not available, a classroom teacher shall be appointed), and a psychologist or other qualified practitioner with the training to interpret cognitive and achievement test results.

    The decision of the appeals/multidisciplinary selection committee may include:

    1. Upholding the original decision of the multidisciplinary selection committee
    2. Reversing the decision of the multidisciplinary selection committee
    3. Request for further testing

    A decision will be made by the appeals committee within ten school business days after the final due date of written appeals. The parent/guardian will be notified of the decision in writing. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.

    Exit process
    The exit process may be initiated for students who no longer demonstrate a need for Highly Capable Program services. A request may be made by a teacher or program administrator for highly capable student identification and placement discontinuation. A multidisciplinary selection committee will convene a meeting to review the student’s profile to determine if the placement and services are appropriate for the student, based on academic, social/emotional, behavioral and/or attendance information. The multidisciplinary selection committee may request additional evidence of student capabilities and/or willingness to participate in the program. If the committee determines that the student no longer qualifies for Highly Capable Program services, it may be recommended that the student is exited from the program. The parent will be notified in writing of the committee’s decision and any steps to appeal the decision will be provided.

    A parent/guardian may request that the student be withdrawn from the program, or a student may voluntarily withdraw from the program. A meeting will be convened by the Highly Capable Program specialist or school administrator to discuss the request. If the parent/guardian desires to withdraw the student from the program, the student will be exited from the program. A multidisciplinary selection committee will determine if identification procedures are necessary for students wishing to reenter the program in the future.